Pokemon Diamond And Pearl Fans Argue Over Remaster Graphics
Unlike those swirling rumours that two Silent Hill games are in the works, or that we'll get a Zelda Remastered Collection this year, one lot of crazy leaks turned out to be right in 2021. After plenty of speculation, the Pokemon Direct finally confirmed a Pokemon Diamond and Pearl remaster is coming to the Nintendo Switch. Giving the 2006 role-playing favourite a nip, a tuck, and a facelift, the Nintendo DS favourite is sure to find a new lease of life on the Switch.
As Nintendo kicks its marketing machine into overdrive ahead of Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl's release in "late 2021", players are already noticing how different the next-gen version looks. More than just giving the pixels a plumping, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl almost look like completely different games. Is that a good thing? You decide!
Why does the Pokemon Diamond and Pearl remaster look so different?
GameXplain has a snazzy video that shows off the comparisons between the two eras of Diamond and Pearl. We haven't got much to go on in terms of footage from the remakes, but still, the video does a great job with the side-by-side comparison.
The upgraded versions of Diamond and Pearl have done away with the sprites of the original games and gone for a style reminiscent of Pokemon Let's Go or Sword and Shield. While previous titles like Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire have tweaked the graphics to give them a bit of an updated look, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl represent a complete overhaul. With Sword and Shield being where the story currently ends in terms of chronology, it makes sense that The Pokemon Company wants to unite its various regions under one umbrella.
Diamond and Pearl were a major step for the franchise, as they gave us our first trip to the Sinnoh Region and introduced players to Gen IV. In terms of Pokemon longevity, some hold Gen IV as peak Pokefever thanks to the introduction of fan-favourites like Garchomp, Luxray, Dialga, and all the other icons of the generation. Even the starter three of Piplup, Tutwig, and Chimchar turned into giants Empoleon, Torterra, and Infernape. It's no surprise there's so much attention being given to the graphics, but safe to say, not everyone is impressed.
Why has the Diamond and Pearl remaster divided fans?
The problem is, the pixelated world of Sinnoh would've looked fine on the small screen of the Nintendo DS. It probably would've fared reasonably well on the Switch's handheld screen, however, when docked and played on today's giant TVs, does anyone really want to be bombarded with pixels? Given the leaps we've made in technology since 2006, it makes sense that Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl were going to have more than just subtle tweaks.
Critics soon flooded the various Pokemon subreddits and the Twitterverse, mocking Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl as low-rent version of Let's Go. The new art direction hasn't gone down well, with many pointing to the odd-sized characters trotting around Sinnoh. Personally, we don't think it looks that bad. It's also important to note that while Game Freak handled the release of the games back in the day, it's over to ILCA to work on 2021's versions. Even though Game Freak is working on the prequel (and open world) Pokemon Legends: Arceus, there's a coherent style between all the recent releases.
Graphical complaints aside, we're expecting the Pokemon Diamond and Pearl remaster to fly up the charts and continue the original titles' legacy as some of the best-selling Pokemon games of all time. We'll definitely be buying. Sorry purists, but 2006 called, and it wants its graphics back.
Images via Nintendo